Trailing 4-3 after No. 1 doubles wasn’t the best spot to be in for the Boonville Pirates tennis team Monday night while hosting Father Tolton in the regular season finale at the high school tennis courts.
After splitting the six singles matches, the Pirate netters rallied back from a 4-3 deficit by recording wins in the final-two doubles spots for a 5-4 victory.
While closing out the regular season at 6-5 overall, head coach Stephanie Green said this was a good way to end our regular season in the plus column.
Of course it didn’t start out that way as Father Tolton jumped out to a 2-0 lead with wins at No. 1 and 2 singles. At No. 1 singles, Joseph Fulca defeated Noah Lammers 10-8 while Peter Robe beat Philip Udinyiwe by a score of 10-6 at the No. 2 slot.
Needless to say, the Pirate netters didn’t go down without a fight. At No. 3 singles, Joshua Udinyiwe got Boonville in the win column by beating Ellie Kayser 10-8. Then, after Gio Strickland lost to Morgan Vogt in a tiebreaker 11-10 (7-5) at No. 4 singles, Boonville came back to post wins at No. 5 and 6 singles. At No. 5 singles, Cristian Vivas won 10-6 over Josh Terrana. Meanwhile, at No. 6 singles, Christian Burns defeated Caroline Parker 10-4.
Green said Lammers played a great match and was ahead even through a lot of long points, making the right shot selections and forcing errors, but it was a brutal pace after playing a tough doubles match first.
“P. Udinyiwe struggled with errors early on and couldn't quite overcome them to make a strong comeback,” Green said. “He played some impressive points despite playing against a good opponent who used a lot of topspin and an aggressive court game. J. Udinyiwe knew he would have to force his opponent into errors and started strong that way. He stayed ahead the entire game and was able to make a strong standing in the final two games to force the errors and put away the match.
“Strickland started strong, got frustrated and dropped some games, but made a comeback by using smart, conservative shot selection and was able to tie at 10. He played point for point in the tiebreak and played well. Vivas started strong with a 6-1 lead, dropped some games due to unforced errors, but with some more aggressive and strong play at the net and by staying focused through each point, he was able to finish out the match. Burns played well. He covered the court completely and his stroke progression was stronger and placement was better. Once he got some confidence under his feet, he really dominated each game from 5-4 on.”
The Pirates also took a backseat at No. 1 doubles, with the team of Fulca and Robe beating the team of Lammers and Vivas 10-4.
However it was all Boonville after that, with the No. 2 team of Joshua and Philip Udinyiwe winning 10-3 over Kayser and Parker 10-3. Meanwhile, at No. 3 doubles, Gabe Rumbaoa and Luke Rehagen upended the team of Vogt and Emily Schachtner 10-6.
Green said the doubles played strong matches and that certainly helped in the win column taking two of the three.
“The Udinyiwe's looked good, were communicating and moving to cover the court and place the ball well,” Green said. “Rumbaoa/Rehagen continue to improve with each match and really capitalized on some aggressive net play and using the whole court to split their opponents and to keep them out of position. Lammers and Vivas played well throughout the match and kept it to a game until it went 5-4, but even then, they made good shots and were working the court together.”
In junior varsity action, Boonville defeated Father Tolton 3-2.
Recording wins for Boonville were the No. 3 doubles team of Tyler Weixeldorfer and Christian Kosnopfal over Laura Richardson and Anna Temple 8-2; the No. 4 doubles team of Koby Abel and Joel Concannon over Carson Gonzalez and Segen Mengisteab 8-2; and the No. 5 doubles team of Gabe Rumbaoa and Luke Rehagen over Emily Temple and Spencer Hockman 6-1.
In other matches,  Christian Burns and Will Engle fell to the team of Victoria Eber and Benjamin Goodrich 8-5 at the No. 1 position. Meanwhile, at No. 2 doubles, the team of Brett McNeal and Joel Concannon lost to the team of Chase Jeffrey and Eyob Teklesenbet 8-3.
School of the Osage
Saturday, May 2
The Boonville Pirates tennis team finished in a two-way tie for fifth place in the School of the Osage Tournament last Saturday in Osage.
In the final-team standings, Osage won the tournament with a score of 23.5 points. Willow Springs finished second with 20.5 points, followed by Camdenton at 19.5, Lebanon with 16.5 and Boonville and Richland at 6.5
Boonville tennis coach Stephanie Green said this was a great tournament for the guys to gain experience and work out some of the challenges they’ve been having.
“It’s good to see different competition at this tournament allows us to play against teams we don’t see in the regular season with the exception of Osage,” Green said. Overall we were much improved in many areas like stroke progression and strategy, but we still have some trouble with control of the mental game.”
No. 1 singles player Noah Lammers finished 3-2 in the tournament while No. 2 singles player Gio Strickland sported a record of 1-1. Meanwhile, in doubles, the No. 1 team of Cristian Vivas and Christian Burns and the No. 2 team of Gabe Rumbaoa and Luke Rehagen.
Note: The Boonville Pirates tennis team will compete in the NCMC Tournament on Friday, May 8th in Marshall. Then, on Monday, May 11th, the Pirate netters will compete in the Class 1 District 13 Tournament at Odessa. In the team seedings for the team portion of the district tournament, Marshall was seeded No. 1, followed by Higginsville, Boonville, Odessa, Wentworth and Lexington.